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Is the Amazon share price good value again after recent dive?

The Amazon share price was divided by 20 as of the close of trading on June 3 due to a planned 20/1 stock split designed to make the company’s shares…



The Amazon share price was divided by 20 as of the close of trading on June 3 due to a planned 20/1 stock split designed to make the company’s shares more accessible to smaller investors. A share price of $2447 became $122.35.

A minimum stake in Amazon’s prospects dropping from almost $2500 to a little over $122 hasn’t, however, increased demand for the e-commerce and cloud computing giant’s stock. Amazon’s market capitalisation has lost almost 14% in the week since the newly split stock started trading.

But it’s fair to say the slide in Amazon’s valuation over the past week is not a consequence of the stock split. That was announced back in early March and the company’s valuation gained almost 25% between then and the end of the month.

amazon com inc

Since then equities, and especially the sub-category of high growth, tech sector equities that Amazon belongs to, have suffered from a broad-based sell-off. Investors have recently shunned risk with a focus on stretched valuations based on future revenue prospects. Rampant inflation, interest rate hikes and geopolitical tensions, and ruptures, are the front-line catalysts.

The result is Amazon is worth almost a third (31%) less than it was at the start of the year. That raises the question of whether it is now a buying opportunity. Are the company’s shares now discounted purely as a result of broader market sentiment and external macro-economic and geopolitical conditions? Or were they simply overvalued at the beginning of the year and have now returned to a more realistic level?

Fair value or undervalued? How analysts see the current Amazon share price after losing a third in 2022

A majority of analysts believe the Amazon stock has been oversold this year, even if slowing growth and external conditions do mean the company’s prospects look a little less rosy than they did some months ago. Morningstar’s Dan Romanoff, for example, lowered his fair value estimate for Amazon’s share price in late April from $4100 to $3850.

He recently reiterated that as his continued assessment of fair value, dividing it in 20 to reflect the recent stock split. He now sees fair value for the stock as $192.5, which is significantly more than the current trading level of around $104.50. That means Amazon stock is currently over 45% off its fair value, as judged by Romanoff.

That leaves plenty of potential upside once market sentiment turns positive again and would suggest investors are currently being offered a real bargain. But what does Romanoff base his opinion of fair value on?

He sees Amazon’s biggest strength as the continued rapid growth of the company’s AWS cloud computing unit. It is the market leader by some distance in a growing market that is expected to continue to see double digit annual growth figures for some time to come as enterprise workloads are shifted to the cloud.

Points of concern are a second straight year of contraction in first-party sales (products sold directly by Amazon on its e-commerce platform rather than those sold by third-party vendors using the platform) and e-commerce margins. The latter have been hit by inflation, excess labour and excess capacity. In its latest full-year trading report, margins came in at the bottom of the forward guidance range and below the expectations of most analysts.

Romanoff sees profitability “challenges” as persisting for the next few quarters and possibly into 2023.

Despite the challenges all retailers, bricks-and-mortar and e-commerce, have been facing as a result of inflation and continuing supply line issues, Amazon’s first quarter revenue grew 7% year-on-year to $116.4 billion, which was at the top of the forward guidance range. The company also noted it sees little evidence so far of a drop in consumer spending despite inflation and geopolitical and economic concerns.

Subscription services and advertising growth slowed to a still healthy 11% and 23% respectively and AWS’s growth was an impressive 37%.

The Motley Fool’s Adria Cimino is similarly optimistic about the potential upside for Amazon’s share price once a stock market recovery sets in. He sees the issues the e-commerce side of the business has been struggling with and which weighed on first quarter earnings as almost exclusively external – inflation and supply chain snarl-ups.

He also believes the fact that they have re-focused the company on the elements it can control like productivity and fulfilment network efficiency as positive for long-term cost control and competitiveness. He sees the continuing popularity of Amazon’s Prime subscription service as key. Exact member numbers are not reported quarterly but stood at 200 million in 2020 and the company has regularly spoken of welcoming “millions of new members” since. Subscription revenues, as mentioned, were recently reported as showing 11% year-on-year growth.

Cimino is particularly enamoured of Amazon’s cloud computing prospects, with AWS’s current strong performance looking like it can be maintained for years to come, providing the group’s engine of growth. Despite huge overall growth in the cloud computing market and rivals like Microsoft’s Azure and Google Cloud Platform investing billions in their own offerings, AWS has maintained a market share of between 32% and 33% over the past few years.

The fact that AWS also accounts for more than 70% of the group’s operating income means its continued growth will be far more influential than that of the e-commerce business over the next several years.

Finally, Truist Securities analyst Youssef Squali recently pointed out on CNBC that Amazon’s spare capacity issues, the result of a big investment in warehouse space over the pandemic (it was almost doubled) will give it a big competitive advantage once absorbed. He expects that to take around a year and investors able to look beyond the near term squeeze on margins to see great value in the company’s current share price.

He also highlights the fact that at its current share price Amazon is trading at around x10 cash flow, which hasn’t been the case since around the time of its IPO 20 years ago.

There are no guarantees the Amazon share price will rise from its current levels in the near term. It could quite conceivable sink even lower if overall market sentiment remains sour.

But while nothing is set in stone, the company does look far better value now than it has for many years. For any investors yet to gain exposure to the stock, perhaps worried about a stretched looking valuation over the last couple of years, its current price could represent an excellent buy-in opportunity. Existing investors still confident about Amazon’s overall longterm prospects might also see an opportunity to top-up their holdings. Especially now a single share costs just over $100 compared to over $2000 until June 3.

The post Is the Amazon share price good value again after recent dive? first appeared on Trading and Investment News.

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COVID-19 lockdowns linked to less accurate recollection of event timing

Participants in a survey study made a relatively high number of errors when asked to recollect the timing of major events that took place in 2021, providing…



Participants in a survey study made a relatively high number of errors when asked to recollect the timing of major events that took place in 2021, providing new insights into how COVID-19 lockdowns impacted perception of time. Daria Pawlak and Arash Sahraie of the University of Aberdeen, UK, present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on May 31, 2023.

Credit: Arianna Sahraie Photography, CC-BY 4.0 (

Participants in a survey study made a relatively high number of errors when asked to recollect the timing of major events that took place in 2021, providing new insights into how COVID-19 lockdowns impacted perception of time. Daria Pawlak and Arash Sahraie of the University of Aberdeen, UK, present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on May 31, 2023.

Remembering when past events occurred becomes more difficult as more time passes. In addition, people’s activities and emotions can influence their perception of the passage of time. The social isolation resulting from COVID-19 lockdowns significantly impacted people’s activities and emotions, and prior research has shown that the pandemic triggered distortions in people’s perception of time.

Inspired by that earlier research and clinical reports that patients have become less able to report accurate timelines of their medical conditions, Pawlak and Sahraie set out to deepen understanding of the pandemic’s impact on time perception.

In May 2022, the researchers conducted an online survey in which they asked 277 participants to give the year in which several notable recent events occurred, such as when Brexit was finalized or when Meghan Markle joined the British royal family. Participants also completed standard evaluations for factors related to mental health, including levels of boredom, depression, and resilience.

As expected, participants’ recollection of events that occurred further in the past was less accurate. However, their perception of the timing of events that occurred in 2021—one year prior to the survey—was just an inaccurate as for events that occurred three to four years earlier. In other words, many participants had difficulty recalling the timing of events coinciding with COVID-19 lockdowns.

Additionally, participants who made more errors in event timing were also more likely to show greater levels of depression, anxiety, and physical mental demands during the pandemic, but had less resilience. Boredom was not significantly associated with timeline accuracy.

These findings are similar to those previously reported for prison inmates. The authors suggest that accurate recollection of event timing requires “anchoring” life events, such as birthday celebrations and vacations, which were lacking during COVID-19 lockdowns.

The authors add: “Our paper reports on altered timescapes during the pandemic. In a landscape, if features are not clearly discernible, it is harder to place objects/yourself in relation to other features. Restrictions imposed during the pandemic have impoverished our timescape, affecting the perception of event timelines. We can recall that events happened, we just don’t remember when.


In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS ONE:

Citation: Pawlak DA, Sahraie A (2023) Lost time: Perception of events timeline affected by the COVID pandemic. PLoS ONE 18(5): e0278250.

Author Countries: UK

Funding: The authors received no specific funding for this work.

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Hyro secures $20M for its AI-powered, healthcare-focused conversational platform

Israel Krush and Rom Cohen first met in an AI course at Cornell Tech, where they bonded over a shared desire to apply AI voice technologies to the healthcare…



Israel Krush and Rom Cohen first met in an AI course at Cornell Tech, where they bonded over a shared desire to apply AI voice technologies to the healthcare sector. Specifically, they sought to automate the routine messages and calls that often lead to administrative burnout, like calls about scheduling, prescription refills and searching through physician directories.

Several years after graduating, Krush and Cohen productized their ideas with Hyro, which uses AI to facilitate text and voice conversations across the web, call centers and apps between healthcare organizations and their clients. Hyro today announced that it raised $20 million in a Series B round led by Liberty Mutual, Macquarie Capital and Black Opal, bringing the startup’s total raised to $35 million.

Krush says that the new cash will be put toward expanding Hyro’s go-to-market teams and R&D.

“When we searched for a domain that would benefit from transforming these technologies most, we discovered and validated that healthcare, with staffing shortages and antiquated processes, had the greatest need and pain points, and have continued to focus on this particular vertical,” Krush told TechCrunch in an email interview.

To Krush’s point, the healthcare industry faces a major staffing shortfall, exacerbated by the logistical complications that arose during the pandemic. In a recent interview with Keona Health, Halee Fischer-Wright, CEO of Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), said that MGMA’s heard that 88% of medical practices have had difficulties recruiting front-of-office staff over the last year. By another estimates, the healthcare field has lost 20% of its workforce.

Hyro doesn’t attempt to replace staffers. But it does inject automation into the equation. The platform is essentially a drop-in replacement for traditional IVR systems, handling calls and texts automatically using conversational AI.

Hyro can answer common questions and handle tasks like booking or rescheduling an appointment, providing engagement and conversion metrics on the backend as it does so.

Plenty of platforms do — or at least claim to. See RedRoute, a voice-based conversational AI startup that delivers an “Alexa-like” customer service experience over the phone. Elsewhere, there’s Omilia, which provides a conversational solution that works on all platforms (e.g. phone, web chat, social networks, SMS and more) and integrates with existing customer support systems.

But Krush claims that Hyro is differentiated. For one, he says, it offers an AI-powered search feature that scrapes up-to-date information from a customer’s website — ostensibly preventing wrong answers to questions (a notorious problem with text-generating AI). Hyro also boasts “smart routing,” which enables it to “intelligently” decide whether to complete a task automatically, send a link to self-serve via SMS or route a request to the right department.

A bot created using Hyro’s development tools. Image Credits: Hyro

“Our AI assistants have been used by tens of millions of patients, automating conversations on various channels,” Krush said. “Hyro creates a feedback loop by identifying missing knowledge gaps, basically mimicking the operations of a call center agent. It also shows within a conversation exactly how the AI assistant deduced the correct response to a patient or customer query, meaning that if incorrect answers were given, an enterprise can understand exactly which piece of content or dataset is labeled incorrectly and fix accordingly.”

Of course, no technology’s perfect, and Hyro’s likely isn’t an exception to the rule. But the startup’s sales pitch was enough to win over dozens of healthcare networks, providers and hospitals as clients, including Weill Cornell Medicine. Annual recurring revenue has doubled since Hyro went to market in 2019, Krush claims.

Hyro’s future plans entail expanding to industries adjacent to healthcare, including real estate and the public sector, as well as rounding out the platform with more customization options, business optimization recommendations and “variety” in the AI skills that Hyro supports.

“The pandemic expedited digital transformation for healthcare and made the problems we’re solving very clear and obvious (e.g. the spike in calls surrounding information, access to testing, etc.),” Krush said. “We were one of the first to offer a COVID-19 virtual assistant that deployed in under 48 hours based on trusted information from the health system and trusted resources such as the CDC and World Health Organization …. Hyro is well funded, with good growth and momentum, and we’ve always managed a responsible budget, so we’re actually looking to expand and gather more market share while competitors are slowing down.”

Hyro secures $20M for its AI-powered, healthcare-focused conversational platform by Kyle Wiggers originally published on TechCrunch

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Spread & Containment

Burger King Adds a Failed McDonald’s Comfort-Food Menu Item

Both companies have tried to make this beloved southern staple work, and Burger King is trying again with multiple new versions.



Fast-food burger chains deal in the familiar. 

They sell comfort food, meals that make their customers feel good (even if that feeling soon enough turns to regret).

When one of the big three chains -- McDonald's, Wendy's (WEN) - Get Free Report, and Burger King -- adds a new menu item, it's either something outrageous designed to get publicity or an item that builds on the comfort-food model.

DON'T MISS: Unique McDonald's Sandwich Makes Its Menu Return

That's why so many fast-food innovations arise from taking a core menu item and give it a small twist. Wendy's does this more than any other chain as it rotates in different takes on cheese fries and new burgers that add well-known flavors like pretzel buns or more bacon.

McDonald's (MCD) - Get Free Report has been experimenting with similar ideas -- specifically trying to make southern classics like sweet tea and chicken biscuits -- work. The chain has had more success with sweet tea, which has become a menu staple, than it has with making chicken biscuits a morning staple.

And while McDonald's has tried to add southern style chicken biscuits to its morning menu without sustained success, that has not stopped its rivals from taking their own shot at the regional favorite. 

Wendy's has offered its Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit since it brought back its breakfast menu in 2020. And now Restaurant Brands International's (QSR) - Get Free Report Burger King has decided to add multiple takes on a chicken biscuit to its morning menu.

Wendy's also sold a "hot" version of its Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit.

Image source: Wendy's.

Burger King Adds Multiple Chicken Biscuits  

Burger King has built its morning menu around meat. The chain sells versions of its famed Croissan'Wich with double sausage, one with bacon, ham, and sausage, and similar offerings on biscuits.

Now, Burger King has been testing adding chicken to its meaty morning lineup.

Some of the chain's locations already sell a regular Chicken Biscuit and a Smoky Maple Chicken Croissan’wich (although those items are not being sold nationwide) and now it's testing a new take on a chicken biscuit in select markets.

"The Smoky Maple Chicken Biscuit features breaded white meat chicken with a smoky maple glaze on a warm buttermilk biscuit. It will be available through Aug. 31 while supplies last," according to Restaurant Business Online.

Burger King is offering the Smoky Maple Chicken Biscuit only in the Kansas City and Orlando-Daytona Beach markets.

McDonald's Also Bets On Breakfast Comfort Food 

McDonald's first put bagels on its breakfast menu in 1999. They were removed in January 2022 when the chain eliminated all-day breakfast and slimmed down its morning menu due to the covid pandemic.

Losing the bagels wasn't just about customers getting one less bread choice for their breakfast sandwich. It also invvolved McDonald's removing steak -- a meat that was only sold on a bagel -- from its morning menu.

Now, after a slow rollout across the country, McDonald's has returned its popular breakfast bagels to menus nationwide (albeit without making an official announcement).

Fans clamored for the return on social media in April 2022, when McDonald's Tweeted "Bring back ____." Tens of thousands of fans answered the query and the Breakfast Bagels were a popular request.

The most-requested item, the Snack Wrap, has not been returned and might not despite customer interest because making them adds complexity to the chain's kitchen operations. 

That's something the company has been working against as it works to streamline delivery and digital sales.         

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